Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 13, 2022

U.S. Seeks ASEAN Proxy Willing To Poke China

On Wednesday, May 11, the Associated Press published a piece of the election in Philippine which included some dubious editorial assertions:

Marcos presidency complicates US efforts to counter China

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s apparent landslide victory in the Philippine presidential election is raising immediate concerns about a further erosion of democracy in Asia and could complicate American efforts to blunt growing Chinese influence and power in the Pacific.

Marcos, the namesake son of longtime dictator Ferdinand Marcos, captured more than double the votes of his closest challenger in Monday’s election, according to the unofficial results.

If the results stand, he will take office at the end of June for a six-year term with Sara Duterte, the daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, as his vice president.

Duterte — who leaves office with a 67% approval rating — nurtured closer ties with China and Russia, while at times railing against the United States.

The whole piece is much longer than the quote. But it nowhere explains why a free and fair election, like the one the Philippines just held, would lead to 'a further erosion of democracy in Asia'. It also does not explain why anyone might doubt the results when indeed nobody really does.

What it does explain well is why Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will not become a U.S. puppet:

[A] 2011 U.S. District Court ruling in Hawaii finding him and his mother in contempt of an order to furnish information on assets in connection with a 1995 human rights class action suit against Marcos Sr.

The court fined them $353.6 million, which has never been paid and could complicate any potential travel to the U.S.

Marcos has said that he will keep the Philippines on the same neutral foreign policy line as Duterte did. Developing better relations with China is part of that.

That does not fit U.S. plans to use the Philippines as a proxy to poke the Chinese tiger.

Currently Biden is holding a summit with the leaders of countries that belong to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Myanmar was not invited to the summit and Duterte did not take part.

The agenda of the summit is astonishingly thin:

The summit, which concludes on Friday, is intended to cover an array of topics, including trade, human rights and climate change. But it is also part of an effort by Mr. Biden’s foreign policy team to highlight one of the president’s primary goals: assembling a united front against China as it increasingly demonstrates its economic and military might around the world.
...
On Thursday evening, the White House announced new investments of about $150 million in the region as part of a series of agreements between the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

The investments by the United States include $40 million for clean energy projects in Southeast Asia.
...
The United States also pledged to invest $60 million to deploy additional maritime assets — led by the Coast Guard — to the region, and to perform training and other activities in coordination with other countries aimed at enforcing maritime laws.

And the administration said it would spend $15 million to expand health surveillance programs in Southeast Asia and better detect Covid-19 and other airborne diseases in the region.

These numbers are stingy and will not move anyone to support the U.S. against China which spends billions on infrastructure in those countries.

They also include a Trojan hoarse program none of those countries is really interested in. More on that later.

The program for the summit looks a bit like a snub:

On Thursday, the leaders from the ASEAN countries met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers before gathering at a Washington hotel to discuss business opportunities with Gina Raimondo, the commerce secretary, and executives from American industries.

Mr. Biden welcomed the leaders to the White House on Thursday evening in a brief ceremony on the South Lawn. The group posed for a picture before walking into the White House for dinner.

On Friday, the Asian leaders will meet with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in the morning, and then with Mr. Biden at the White House later in the day. According to the administration official, the group will discuss trading opportunities; transit through disputed waterways, including the South China Sea; and other topics.

These are presidents and prime ministers who are not really interested in talking with underlings like Raimondo and Blinken. They want to talk with the boss. But Biden seems to have little interest in making friends with them.

Was this summit intentionally designed to fail?

Anyway. Back to the Trojan horse for which the U.S. will spend $60 million in an attempt to poke the tiger.

A year ago Peter Lee wrote an excellent piece on the Philippine election that took place this week. It explains what the 'additional maritime assets' are supposed to do.

Will a New Philippine President Work with the US Coast Guard to Light Off World War III in the South China Sea?

For those of you who plan ahead, May 9, 2022 is the big one. Mark your calendars. That’s the date of the Philippine presidential elections.

Recapturing the Malacañang Palace for a pro-American president is an obsession of U.S. strategists. And if I’m thinking about it now, they’ve been thinking about it ever since Rodrigo Duterte won the last election in 2016.
...
I expect that the old guard in Manila, in coordination with the United States, will do whatever is necessary to make sure that, no matter who makes it to the Palace, the embarrassment of a Duterte-style balancer presidency is not repeated.

A pro-US presidency means turning away from the PRC to deepen the security relationship with the United States and Japan and perfect the “First Island Chain” anti-China picket line.

And the Philippines will reassume its place at the center of US plans to confront the PRC in the South China Sea.

As we now know that plan did not work out. But it is interesting how it was supposed to be followed by tackling the People's Republic of China in the South China Sea:

Post-Duterte I expect there will be continual poking at PRC vulnerabilities in the SCS as they relate to Philippine claims and can be construed to demand US support.

These include Reed Bank, an energy play within the Philippines EEZ that the PRC tries to claim as inside its nine-dash line.

Then there’s the Scarborough Shoal, a fishing spot now controlled by the PRC but a flashpoint for Philippine nationalism.

And there is the aptly-named Mischief Reef.

China has made Mischief Reef into an artificial Chinese island within the Philippine's economic zone. If the Philippine would reclaim the reef by force the 'additional maritime assets' the U.S. sends could come to its help:

If the Mischief Reef op goes down, that backing will probably come from, of all things, the US Coast Guard.

The US Coast Guard’s scope of operations, despite its name, is not America’s coasts. It’s a global power projection arm in the realm of law enforcement, not warfare.

Or as the head of the Coast Guard himself puts it, the Coast Guard is “a maritime bridge between the Department of Defense’s lethality and the State Department’s diplomacy.”
...
The Coast Guard is in the process of basing three so-called Fast Response Cutters at Guam. They are armed with 4 machine guns and a cannon and are designed for extended duration patrols of 2500 nautical miles.

The stated Pacific mission for the Coast Guard is to offer logistics and escort i.e. armed US backup for the coast guards of friendly states in their enforcement activities in the Pacific in the realms of illegal fishing, drug trafficking, and “the threats these activities bring” mostly, I would think, from China.

Stage one is implementing this US-backed enforcement regime on behalf of Palau and the other Polynesian satrapies whose defense and foreign relations are managed by the US government.

Then, if conditions permit, you got the South China Sea.

Guam is too far from the South China Sea, so to operate in the SCS the US Coast Guard will have to rely on tenders—unless the cutters are permitted to operate out of the Philippines,

That’s something I think the US military would dearly love, and is undoubtedly on its wish list for any post-Duterte Philippine administration.

I am pretty sure that Peter Lee had that right. But with Marcos junior at the helm of Philippine that country will not agree to those plans:

Allowing the U.S. to play a role in trying to settle territorial spats with China will be a “recipe for disaster,” Marcos said in an interview with DZRH radio in January. He said Duterte’s policy of diplomatic engagement with China is “really our only option.”

The coast guard cutters to be stationed in Guam are the '$60 million additional maritime assets' Biden promised to the ASEAN leaders.

Maybe some other country can be convinced to proxy-poke China to then ask for armed U.S. coast guard backup.

I doubt though that it is truly in anyone's interest as China is certain to poke back - harshly.

 

Posted by b on May 13, 2022 at 17:29 UTC | Permalink

Comments

If we can’t poke the Bear we poke the Panda.

Posted by: Dale | May 13 2022 17:36 utc | 1

His father was a US puppet. His supporters grew out of his father's supporters.

I'd be surprised if he did not find a way to do as he likes no matter what he says, and I'd be surprised if that was not pure puppet, like his father.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | May 13 2022 17:38 utc | 2

"Or as the head of the Coast Guard himself puts it, the Coast Guard is 'a maritime bridge between the Department of Defense’s lethality and the State Department’s diplomacy.'”

In other words, a bridge to nowhere from nowhere.

Posted by: Mulegino1 | May 13 2022 17:39 utc | 3

As you say - "stingy". Ridiculous might work, too, unless they're offering to put the money directly into the various officials' bank accounts.

Japan seems to be prepping for the dragon-poker job, judging from their presser after the EU contingent's visit this week. Can't help but think that Okinawa is more of a target than a base of operations.

Posted by: paul spencer | May 13 2022 17:41 utc | 4

The same people who think that 90 (!) stinking towed (!!) howitzers are going to be a difference maker against Russia think that a Coast Guard cutter or two are enough to stare down (or, worse, promise thereof is enough get someone to risk their life by challenging) China, especially after the prices paid by Georgia and now, Ukraine. (Or, for that matter, Poland in 1939).

Posted by: hk | May 13 2022 17:43 utc | 5

I just provided a Global Times report on the ASEAN Summit on the previous thread. Here's the link to that report.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2022 17:53 utc | 6

So the ASEAN leaders are miffed that they didn't get to speak to the boss? Gentlemen, calm yourselves. President Biden simply was too out of it those days to do business with anyone, and had to be kept indoors on a leash. Don't take it personally, OK?

Seriously, the ASEAN leaders wouldn't be the types, unlike all the NATO/EU bozos, to keep their mouths shut about Biden being out of it and saying really stupid shit. Some industrious reporter needs to look at the actual amount of Oval Office time any outsider has gotten with Joe Biden since he took office, and compare it to other presidents' scheduling. Dead giveaway that things are worse with Biden than generally acknowledged if there is any much difference between the schedules. I'm right curious.

Posted by: Daniel N. White | May 13 2022 18:13 utc | 7

erosion of democracy = not a slave to usa empires geo political interests...


thanks b... i haven't been able to access moa the past 24 hours for the most part..

Posted by: james | May 13 2022 18:16 utc | 8

This is the current status of US human rights paradise:

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-05-13/ice-immigration-detention-deaths-sick-detainees
ICE rushed to release a sick woman, avoiding responsibility for her death. She isn’t alone

Posted by: KitaySupporter | May 13 2022 18:25 utc | 9

Well, time will tell... When I heard of Marcos Jr. being elected I thought " here we are again..." another US/UK puppet. But now seeing this article and Sara Duterte as vice president, well, I don't know but it could be a non-negative sign, but as I wrote above "time will tell ". After some 40 years doing business in Asia, it is clear to me that any ASEAN country doesn't really care about " humanitarian democracy " as painted by the West..., because they are not stupid and learnt the lessons from Korea to Vietnam to Yemen, obviously including Afghanistan and now Ukraine. Let's see... but China and ASEAN are learning a lot about the sanctions on Russia, and they will gradually drop their US$ cash and Treasury investments, while the West is going bankrupt and mad. This bankruptcy on the other hand is very dangerous, because the West now is a loser on conventional warfare, and their only chance is to use a number of their nukes. I only hope
Western stupidity and incompetence will not reach that point, while Russia and China helping with real actions and not "Western" hot air

Posted by: luca | May 13 2022 18:32 utc | 10

M. K. Bhadrakhumar had a great piece on this topic today at Indian Punchline.

https://www.indianpunchline.com/indo-pacific-strategy-adrift-in-an-illusion/

"Meanwhile, a new factor is the election victory of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the next president of the Philippines. His running mate Sara Duterte is the daughter of outgoing president, Rodrigo Duterte, who had skilfully carved out a middle position between Beijing and Washington, resisting attempts by the US to raise tensions in the South China Sea, and opting instead to work with Beijing on territorial disputes and keeping high-level channels of communication open with Beijing on issues of mutual concern, including direct contact with President Xi Jinping.

As his presidential legacy, Marcos Jr. has vowed to sign a bilateral deal with China to settle the South China Sea issue. Xi Jinping’s congratulatory message to Marcos suggests that Beijing apparently senses an opportunity to reset the balance of relations with Manila. Conceivably, if Philippines and China enter into deeper cooperation as well as finally resolve their South China Sea issue, it will shake up the Asia-Pacific, undermine the US efforts to militarise the southeast Asian region and render hopelessly obsolete Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy itself. "

Posted by: JC | May 13 2022 18:35 utc | 11

re: The agenda of the summit is astonishingly thin
That from what the NYTimes offered -- actually it was quite robust Fact Sheet

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 13 2022 18:37 utc | 12

His father may have been a US puppet, but he was a puppet whom the US betrayed.

Posted by: Lysias | May 13 2022 18:39 utc | 13

I don't think Biden is able to make any decisions without the Easter bunny guiding him- and that would make insult to injury, IMHO.

Posted by: Anne B | May 13 2022 19:09 utc | 14

"But it nowhere explains why a free and fair election, like the one the Philippines just held, would lead to 'a further erosion of democracy in Asia'."

In the west, democracy is the PC word for US control. And within the US it means deep state control.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 13 2022 19:11 utc | 15

Erdogan just said that he will oppose the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO because they harbor Kurdish "terrorists".

Posted by: Lysias | May 13 2022 19:14 utc | 16

Bernard:"...the U.S. will spend $60 million in an attempt to poke the tiger."
Dale:If we can’t poke the Bear we poke the Panda.

Thought it was the fire-breathing Dragon.

Posted by: William Haught | May 13 2022 19:17 utc | 17

. . .Mischief Reef
some general observations

>In 1995 China seized from the Philippines the atoll Mischief Reef in the Spratlys. Mischief Reef was submerged at high tide and lies just 125 nautical miles from Palawan. Today, after massive dredging, Mischief Reef is a 558-hectare artificial island, hosting China’s largest air and naval base in the Spratlys. The Chinese call Mischief Reef their Pearl Harbor in the South China Sea. The arbitral Award ruled that Mischief Reef is part of the EEZ of the Philippines. Mischief Reef image here

>PRC vs. Vietnam & ROC
within the Spratly Islands:
-- Vietnam occupies and/or controls six islands, seventeen reefs and three banks,
-- ROC occupies and/or controls one island and one reef,
-- Malaysia occupies and/or controls one artificial island and five reefs, and
-- PRC occupies and/or controls eight reefs

>The anti-China blather about the nine-dash line "that China uses to depict its claims in the SCS" is pure fabricated propaganda.

>Here's a live view of Marine traffic in the area . Most of it is to/from China and the South China Sea bases are needed to safeguard that traffic, especially with US warships' frequent visits while claiming that they are there to protect a "free and open" western Pacific.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 13 2022 19:20 utc | 18

"And the administration said it would spend $15 million to expand health surveillance programs in Southeast Asia and better detect Covid-19 and other airborne diseases in the region."

According to Russian MoD, they have evidence US used bio warfare against what are now the republics in Ukraine in the form of fake money contaminate with a antibiotic resistant tuberculosis. Russia has another UN meeting scheduled - it may have already occurred - to present more evidence and have it recorded at the UN.

For the US to crap on now about health surveillance programs when the whole world knows that it develops and uses bio weapons...

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 13 2022 19:25 utc | 19

. . .what they say about the US Coast Guard. . .
The U.S. Coast Guard’s status as a military service coupled with its law enforcement roles allows it to effectively contribute to both the military and maritime law enforcement requirements of the Indo-Pacific region, according to the commander of U.S. Coast Guard units operating in the region. McAllister pointed out the ongoing deployment of USCGC Munro (WMSL-755) under U.S. 7th Fleet. USCG Cutter Frederick Hatch, homeported in Guam. . note the bushmaster autocannon on the deck. here
. . .what they say about the China Navy
China already boasts the largest navy in the world with more than 300 ships and submarines. By 2030, the PLAN could have more than 450 ships and close to 110 submarines.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 13 2022 19:32 utc | 20

# Posted by: luca | May 13 2022 18:32 utc | 10

Trolling the west seem to be in fashion in the east. Jr. certainly knows his opponent, and he has a personal grudge.
He might become the biggest troll yet.

Posted by: Anne B | May 13 2022 19:44 utc | 21

Shoot, there aint no ambitious journalists willing to do this Biden story. But CALLING ALL GRAD STUDENTS!!! I'm willing to bet that there are foreign diplo/intel services interested in hard facts on this issue. Should be, at any rate. Ambitious hungry grad student should do this research under plausible guise of academic research/paper and sell it to them. That'd save the potential embarrassment to the questioning nation's government, for asking such a question. Beats more student loans, right?

Posted by: Daniel N. White | May 13 2022 19:49 utc | 22

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 13 2022 19:11 utc | 15

"In the west, democracy is the PC word for US control. And within the US it means deep state control."

This should be the definition of "Democracy" in the next Merriam Webster's dictionary.

In the early 2000s, Condoleeza Rice was at pains to say they supported "democracy(TM)" in the Occupied Territories. Right up until their puppet lost in a landslide and then she cried foul and Israel started "mowing the lawn" again.

Posted by: Boomhauer | May 13 2022 19:51 utc | 23

"Marcos has said that he will keep the Philippines on the same neutral foreign policy line as Duterte did. Developing better relations with China is part of that."
&
"These are presidents and prime ministers who are not really interested in talking with underlings like Raimondo and Blinken. They want to talk with the boss. But Biden seems to have little interest in making friends with them."

So how much longer is it going to be possible for Marcos, Erdogan, and others to ride the fence? Futhermore, Biden is also an obvious underling. At some point it will probably be necessary to talk Turkey to whatever baklâ decider Ned Price is marionette Biden's liaison for.

Posted by: William Haught | May 13 2022 19:58 utc | 24

Don Bacon @20--

here's an update on the PLA's Navy as its "second Type 075 amphibious assault ship" begins its first FTX. Here's some commentary:

"Z-8 helicopters, Type 05 amphibious armored vehicles and Type 726 air-cushioned landing craft have started training together with the Guangxi, which is also dubbed a helicopter carrier, according to the CCTV.

"As a new-type combat force in the transformation and development of the Navy, the Guangxi is tasked with exploring tactics for maritime multidimensional landing combat and enhancing core amphibious combat capabilities, the report quoted Captain Xu Ce, skipper of the Guangxi, as saying.

"China has started to build and commission the Type 075 amphibious assault ships in numbers, as the ship is technically sophisticated and proven reliable, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"The second Type 075 will gain combat capability very fast, as the first ship has gathered many successful experiences, Wei said....

"With more main battle vessels entering service, the PLA Navy's capabilities to safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and development interests are growing as well, experts said, noting that China is aiming to build a blue-water navy capable of not only coastal defense but also far sea escort." [My Emphasis]

Target: Taiwan and Convoy Protection from USN. All that was from the April 12th article. That was updated yesterday with this item:

"Two Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Type 075 amphibious assault ships recently sailed together in a dual ship exercise for the first time, a move analysts said not only showed that the recently commissioned second ship has achieved a high level of combat capability, but also provided the PLA with a powerful new instrument in amphibious landing operations, with the island of Taiwan being a key potential target."

The article says a video was also released with the Wednesday announcement, but I wasn't able to find it.

China's shipyards are also building numerous commercial vessels too at a rate the Outlaw US Empire can't even come close to matching, nor does it have the ability to rapidly ramp up production for a variety of reasons, most importantly being the lack of a properly trained workforce at all logistical levels.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2022 20:17 utc | 25

It is clear from a cursory reading of the United States corporate media that Washington’s ability to do basic management tasks of its global empire has eroded extremely rapidly. Right now we see this in the fiasco of the ASEAN summit, and also in the continuing farce of planning for a Summit of the Americas, due to be held in LA in the coming weeks.

Posted by: Helena | May 13 2022 20:23 utc | 26

It should be noted there are many prosperous and educated Filipinos of Chinese descent.

The result is no surprise. 

I distantly know a family in the Philippines who had an extended  member extradjudically murdered by the Philipines National Police [PNP]. He was a methamphetamine addict and dealer. The family were unashamedly happy because after several prison terms and numerous ripoffs on his own family and others, he is no longer a problem for the family.

I am treated with the utmost respect by the PNP, more respect than police and government officials in my own country. 

When President Duterte failed to be a fully compliant US puppet the 'western' MSM turned up the dial on his human rights abuses. The Mighty Wurlitzer dial is, as we all know, very selective. 

"When he was elected, almost every family was related to or knew someone addicted to drugs, That is no longer the case. A month ago, Duterte told local reporters he realised after he came to power the problem was much bigger than he thought.“When the records were opened, six generals of the [Philippine National Police] were playing with drugs". I said, ‘how can we survive this?’ he said. His approach has not changed. “You destroy my country and our children, I will kill you. That is my mantra and that will be still my mantra ... when I leave Malacañang,” he said".  

President Duterte will be the first Philippine President to leave office with a way over 50% approval rating. 

Posted by: Paul | May 13 2022 20:46 utc | 27

(AP): "Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s apparent landslide victory in the Philippine presidential election is raising immediate concerns about a further erosion of democracy in Asia"

Clearly, Filipino democracy is broken and needs to be fixed. Global champion of democracy, the US stands ready to help. Its own democracy was properly, permanently fixed with inauditable paperless voting machines of proprietary software and mass mail-in balloting, freed of cumbersome verification procedures and vastly expanded in order to protect voters from various flu variants. Works just fine now. And if it turns out that The Phillipines' democracy can't be fixed by those tools, then the NED (National Endowment for Democracy) has a more specialized toolkit readily available.

Caitlin Johnstone, maestra of metaphor and allegory, on American democracy:

"An elephant and a donkey fight in a puppet show and the crowd cheers for one or the other while thieves pick their pockets..." (thieves being the shows sponsors.)

"Democracy is when you get to vote on which oligarchic muppet will ceremonially pardon a turkey on Thanksgiving but not on whether your government should greatly escalate the risk of nuclear war."

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 13 2022 20:54 utc | 28

Posted by: Paul | May 13 2022 20:46 utc | 27

Extra-judicial killings are extra-judicial.

The Droner-in-chief [Obama] left office with an approval rating of some 55-60%+.

Posted by: Seer | May 13 2022 20:56 utc | 29

Seer @29--

A clear affirmation of the public's bamboozlement and the Media's Treason.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2022 21:22 utc | 30

Asean conference brings to mind Biden's upcoming "summit of the americas" in LA. Amlo and Boisonaro will both boycott if Nicaraua, Cuba and Venezuela not invited. US policy misfiring worldwide these days.

Posted by: Oso | May 13 2022 21:25 utc | 31

Extra-judicial killings are extra-judicial.

The Droner-in-chief [Obama] left office with an approval rating of some 55-60%+.

Posted by: Seer | May 13 2022 20:56 utc | 29

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 13 2022 21:35 utc | 32

Extra-judicial killings are extra-judicial.

The Droner-in-chief [Obama] left office with an approval rating of some 55-60%+.

Posted by: Seer | May 13 2022 20:56 utc | 29

But this is a typical problem of a democracy. People may like bad things. And they may be rational about some of those bad things.

Is electing Boris Johnson and Joe Biden a clear step above Marcos+Duterte duo? Scratching head... One thing is certain: the best example of American "soft power" was making it official that "intelligence does not have to be rock solid to be proper for our media." I expect consistency of cheese curds, but who knows, it may rise to crumbled blue cheese (pretty good, actually, but it should stick to be a source of nutrition rather than information).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 13 2022 21:43 utc | 33

karlof1 | May 13 2022 20:17 utc | 25

Thanks for this. China's 075 amphibious assault vessel, helo/VSTOL aircraft-carrier and hovercraft troop launcher, is indeed formidable. It's fast, heavily armed, technologically advanced, and at 40,000 tons, has more than 3x the displacement of Russia's lost Moskva. China has been rapidly modernizing it's military at a pace similar to Russia's --- not coincidentally.

From Radio Free Asia 5/4/22:

"The Chinese Navy only officially started development work on the Type 075 in 2011 but has already launched three ships, two of which are fully operational and the third is on sea trials. A total of eight vessels are said to be on order for the PLAN, reported the Naval News portal."

"Chinese state media said the Type 075 'will play vital roles in possible operations on the island of Taiwan, as well as islands and reefs in the South China Sea.'”

"Experts said that the commissioning of the three ships will place China in the second rank in terms of global amphibious capabilities, second only to the United States.

"A U.S. Defense Department report released last November said China has the biggest maritime force on the globe with 355 vessels. The number is projected to increase to 420 ships within the next four years and 460 by 2030."

"A future Type 076 vessel could be equipped with electromagnetic catapults, which would enhance its ability to support fixed-wing aircraft, making it more like an aircraft carrier, according to CRS."

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/southchinasea-drills-05042022104648.html

Send in the US Coast Guard. Please.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 13 2022 22:21 utc | 34

Do not for a moment consider the Philippines a real democracy.
The country is controlled by a relatively small number of pre-Spanish era families with huge land holdings, an into which there was Spanish and Chinese marriage.
Ayalas, Osmenas, Aquinos, etc.
The families control their provinces sometimes with an iron fist, sometimes more gently. But always control.
Purchase of votes is prevalent.
But who cares!
Voting is electronic!
The families decide who will win.
And if they decide someone must go, go he will, as Estrada did.

If ever there was a sham democracy, Philippines is it.

Marcos plus Duterte? Big bucks all round! To hell with the country.

Posted by: ltexpat | May 13 2022 22:28 utc | 35

More knowledgeable readers can correct me, but I believe that China's claimed SCS features have not changed since 1987.

The US created the current 'controversy' to inflame ancient grudges, nothing more.

Posted by: Godfree Roberts | May 13 2022 22:46 utc | 36

Doug Hillman @34--

Thanks for your reply. USN amphib capability is slowly rusting away and not enough Marines can be recruited to staff them. Annually, the Heritage Organization publishes a report on the Outlaw US Empire's Military Readiness in several very distinct categories that's widely respected for its objectivity. There's a large mass of material to wade through from that initial page. Although it says this is the 2022 assessment, you'll note that most articles and assessments are dated October 2021. There's one page that sums it all up and this is it. After the narrative and tables we read the following:

"In the aggregate, the United States’ military posture is rated 'marginal.' The 2022 Index concludes that the current U.S. military force is likely capable of meeting the demands of a single major regional conflict while also attending to various presence and engagement activities but that it would be very hard-pressed to do more and certainly would be ill-equipped to handle two nearly simultaneous major regional contingencies." [Emphasis Original]

What I've read over the last 6-7 months since that was published doesn't provide any facts that would allow for any improvement in the Marginal rating while others would argue a slight worsening, particularly in the Air Force. And when you look at the massive sums of money spent for such mediocre results and more now being thrown at it, there's very little grounds for improvement by the next assessment.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2022 22:50 utc | 37

A Most interesting development.

Mean while down under in Oz, The conservative LNP government of Scott Morrespin. Has become fixated about a Chinese type 815G ELINT/ICBM missile tracking vessel . This ship sailing in the Indian Ocean. Off the very barren coast of WA. Given the vessels current course and speed. It's clearly monitoring Chinese long range missile tests.

Oz PM Scott Morrespin is calling it a foul play! He is now in a total panic mode, with much talk about nothing.

On a side note. The conservative LNP government of Oz. Just all prior LNP governments of Oz. After Julia Ironpants was voted out of office. Had been progressively reducing cash aid to the Solomon Islands. Since he took on the PM's role. As was demanded by a highly influential conservative think tank called "The Lowy Institute".

PM Scott Morrespin, a well known champion in the use of pork barrel politics . Is also, a climate change denier too!

As with all elections. The Opposition never wins an election. Until the swing voters grow tired of the laziness and stupidity of the elected government.

Truth is always stranger than fiction.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 13 2022 23:06 utc | 38

Posted by Seer @ 29

I know extra judicial killing is wrong no matter who does it. A friends innocent brother was murdered by NSW police in his bed in front of his wife and child in Sydney see "David Gundy".

The bandit state uses it all the time as a method of genocide and terror. We see examples every day.

The alternative is the new Zealand soft soap triage system of policing where property crime, no matter how big, is totally ignored. The NZ crooks know this and this encourages more property crime. Rule by government bureaucratic memo and diktat.

Historically, the stingy NZ government withholds basic police funding and now diverts the money to the very gangs manufacturing the meth in labs.

https://www.policeassn.org.nz/news/mongrel-mob-drug-rehab-funding-likened-to-money-laundering#/

.

Posted by: Paul | May 13 2022 23:13 utc | 39

filipinos are basically the mexicans of canada. i've worked with and lived next to many in my time here and based on that - plus the internets - i'd say the election was probably legit. a lot of the ones here are just glad to be out but quite a few of them have an almost psychotic authoritarian bent. the consensus seems to be "it's worth it to live in a police state and have random killings if i can walk down the street at 2am". easy for them to say but you'll also heard it from a lot of its actual citizens in manila.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siAjsu0ZmKE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zmpFJ9ZPMA

as for:
"the Department of Defense’s lethality"

look out, wedding parties and hospitals! i'd love to see that prick zoom out to battle the yellow menace in his little dingy.

Posted by: the pair | May 13 2022 23:58 utc | 40

A Trojan Hoarse? "Hey Hecuba, tell Priam I can't fight Achilles today, I've got a bit of a sore throat..."

Sorry b, couldn't resist. Love ya work ;)

Posted by: Patroklos | May 13 2022 23:59 utc | 41

Excellent article! If not for b, it would be struggle to put this picture together.

Thanks very much.

Posted by: Moses22 | May 14 2022 0:07 utc | 42

Wanted:
Asian country to fight US proxy war with China. We will make your oligarchs enormously rich and help you fight till your last citizen has been killed.

Posted by: Moses | May 14 2022 0:13 utc | 43

Whether he is planning to be a US stooge or not, he is totally unfit for the job. In a country of 60 million people, they can't find somebody better than this?

Posted by: tim rourke | May 14 2022 0:50 utc | 44

@ 20, 25, 34, 36
Yes, the USMC is in turmoil right now, with the current commandant catching static because he got rid of tanks etc, whereas the old-timers would prefer that the USMC continue to be a mini-army and they are not quiet about it. . . .The Corps has no decent amphibs.
They recently formed a "littoral regiment," littoral meaning "shore," and they worked out at 29 Palms, Southern California high desert!!
Their new policy is that Marine units will secretly deploy to some island somewhere in the western Pacific, nobody will notice, and then when discovered they will secretly transfer to another island.
. . .I'm serious!!!

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 0:55 utc | 45

@ 20, 25, 34, 36
Yes, the USMC is in turmoil right now, with the current commandant catching static because he got rid of tanks etc, whereas the old-timers would prefer that the USMC continue to be a mini-army and they are not quiet about it. . . .The Corps has no decent amphibs.
They recently formed a "littoral regiment," littoral meaning "shore," and they worked out at 29 Palms, Southern California high desert!!
Their new policy is that Marine units will secretly deploy to some island somewhere in the western Pacific, nobody will notice, and then when discovered they will secretly transfer to another island.
. . .I'm serious!!!

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 0:57 utc | 46

@ 20, 25, 34, 36
Yes, the USMC is in turmoil right now, with the current commandant catching static because he got rid of tanks etc, whereas the old-timers would prefer that the USMC continue to be a mini-army and they are not quiet about it. . . .The Corps has no decent amphibs.
They recently formed a "littoral regiment," littoral meaning "shore," and they worked out at 29 Palms, Southern California high desert!!
Their new policy is that Marine units will secretly deploy to some island somewhere in the western Pacific, nobody will notice, and then when discovered they will secretly transfer to another island.
. . .I'm serious!!!

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 0:57 utc | 47

regarding the title of b's post - U.S. Seeks ASEAN Proxy Willing To Poke China

this informed fellow did a youtube video about 9 days ago which explains it very well for anyone more interested...

US Can't Find Indo-Pacific Nations to Host Anti-China Missiles

youtube channel - the new atlas... check it out if you want to understand this dynamic the usa is working on more fully..

Posted by: james | May 14 2022 1:09 utc | 48

Speaking "littorally" (sorry). . .How about those LCS Littoral Combat Ships (or LCS = Little Crappy Ships) which have been mostly retired, the remaining ones suffering hull cracking. You see, the hulls were built to commercial standards not naval standards. . .It was a pure Navy program, no need to involve the Marine Corps in littoral combat -- Navy can handle it.
Then we suffered through the Zumwalt destroyers. They wanted dozens of them then the couldn't come up with a gun or guns to put on the, so they built three and threw in the towel.
Hey they're spending the money, that's the main thing. . . .Too bad we don't have a Harry Truman in the Senate.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 1:14 utc | 49

Edward Abbey, anarchist: "Democracy is a wonderful idea, we ought to try it sometime."

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 1:18 utc | 50

the consensus seems to be "it's worth it to live in a police state and have random killings if i can walk down the street at 2am". easy for them to say but you'll also heard it from a lot of its actual citizens in manila.

Posted by: the pair | May 13 2022 23:58 utc | 39

Asians are generally pragmatic. Safety and opportunities for economic development come before ideologies.

Posted by: bonks | May 14 2022 1:35 utc | 51

ASEAN is run by oligarchs, but of late they seem more inclined to not choose sides. China of course is just as able to line their pockets as the US. More likely they'll take kick backs from both sides and stay uncommitted.

The US now has Australia as its prime puppet, the current fool of a PM gave up decades of avoiding a choice, he dumped the profitable China trade in exchange for spending billions instead on useless US weapons. Reading online comments seems Australians have convinced themselves they are a military power and China and Russia need to be regime changed. Odd,never used to be like that, seems the corrupt media has shaped opinion.

This won't end well for Australia, glad I left, not the great country it used to be. All its income derives from commodities, the WEF globalists have infected it with the climate change economic suicide as well. 100% locked into the two globalist cons of climate chane and the rules based order. Idiots.

Posted by: Organic | May 14 2022 1:41 utc | 52

Not only is China trouncing the US in Asia, but also in much of the rest of the world. Picking two areas:

Africa has provided the best fit for and has been the most receptive to China’s development-focused economic diplomacy. China claims a historic solidarity with developing countries in the region, which has bolstered intensified trade, investment, and financial relations.
China’s role in Latin America is mostly defined by commodity trade and investment. Its economic and political influence in Latin America will be only as strong as its commodity-based links to the region. Yet, given that the United States has frequently been a fickle partner for Latin American countries, their government and business leaders will continue to look for alternatives. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 2:21 utc | 53

Not only is China trouncing the US in Asia, but also in much of the rest of the world. Picking two areas:

Africa has provided the best fit for and has been the most receptive to China’s development-focused economic diplomacy. China claims a historic solidarity with developing countries in the region, which has bolstered intensified trade, investment, and financial relations.
China’s role in Latin America is mostly defined by commodity trade and investment. Its economic and political influence in Latin America will be only as strong as its commodity-based links to the region. Yet, given that the United States has frequently been a fickle partner for Latin American countries, their government and business leaders will continue to look for alternatives.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 2:22 utc | 54

Biden didn't snub them. He's too gaga to engage them in any meaningful way and too gaga not to cause them to think that the U.S. is being "led" by a ghost. I truly hope the Democratic Party is happy that they put a Hillary Clinton stand-in in office so that she could be President if only in the shadows. I hope she and her sycophants are happy. Really happy.

Posted by: Frederick Herschel | May 14 2022 2:45 utc | 55

Sorry, Bernhard.

Marcos most likely WILL be a Puppet - his Family+Friends are too Deeply entrenched in the Masonic-Catholic Axis of the USA.

Why? The Marcos Faction are Vassals of the USA. Many Filipinos joined the US Military under MacArthur's Plan - which continued until the mid-2000s; and many of that plan brought over their relatives and had "Anchor Children" in the USA - while many "Hostesses" Married Murican GIs by the Hundreds. Once can say that the Marcos Faction are Integral to the US Pacific Fleet Sailor and Civil Service Workforce - for they occupy many Military and Civilian Billets in the Pacific Coast, HI, GU, and in JPN.

In my day, there were more Filipinos at the US Naval Base in Japan than there were Japanese Americans who actually have RELATIVES in JPN.

White Americans should be upset, since these Billets are Hoarded by those who number what - 3to4Million Filipinos USA-wide? Federal Billets - should be 1outof85to100 - to be Brutally Fair. If anything, Japanese/Chinese Americans should outnumber Filipinos in US Bases.

MacArthur's Masonic-Catholic Boondoggle

Their FreeMasonic and Catholic Patronages protect their Miscreants.

I had a few Filipino Friends growing up in Japan; but the Racketeers amongst them will ruthlessly screw you through a "Filipino Animosity" Racket(backed by Masons+Catholics) - similar to an "Anti-Semitism" Smear(backed by Masons+ChristianZionists+Jewish). I experienced both while living in SoCal.
(Actually had a thug brother of one of my less-than-competent Subordinate from my Navy Days try to Stalk+Harass Me - a Power Lifter/Wrestler/Boxer/Martial Artist (Bad Eyesight - worsened during Annapolis Days - kept me from Standard Line Billets). He gave up after trying to start something while I walked along a Beach Path, where I kept walking while singing out "P**ssy" for a few minutes. He knew I'd send him into a Wheelchair or Coffin (Self Defense, of Course. Hand2Hand inthe Military tend to wake up the Meleé Capable beyond Sports), so he walked off...

I am in Masonic Murica after all.

****
MarcosJr&DuerteDaughter will try to play CHN&USA; but their Factions can only live the good life and have their Racketeers roam freely in Murica - not in CHN.

Murica will twist Marcos' Arm eventually - PHL are a FreeMasonic Catholic Run Country after all. Marcos will walk the narrow neutral path, get replaced, or might flee to HI from a Coup.

Doesn't matter what CHN offers. Murica will turn PHL into another UKR-like Entity - hosting ISIL, TWN/HKG Freedom Fighters, AUKUS Forces...

Should AUKUS manage to Engage Directly with CHN, PHL will be a "Stepping Stone" for CHN to take AUS+NZL through.

Hope this helps

Posted by: IronForge | May 14 2022 2:53 utc | 56

re: Biden cuts it short
There are some other factors, in mixed order:
>On Feb. 28, the White House released a statement from press secretary Jen Psaki saying the administration was “proud to announce” the “historic” ASEAN summit would take place on March 28 and 29.
>ASEA refused to come so the "summit" was postponed. Cambodia’s [Cambodia is ASEAN chair in 2022] foreign minister told Reuters that some Southeast Asian leaders could not travel to Washington on the dates the White House had announced.
>Previously three US senators tore into Cambodia. Senators Romney, Markey, Menendez and Risch introduced a resolution last October, on the 30-year anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreements. The resolution notes that the promise of the Paris Peace Agreements remains unfulfilled due to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s violations of Cambodia’s Constitution and effective one-party rule since 1993.
>Back in November: US turns new screws on Cambodia’s Hun Sen Washington imposes new sanctions, threatens to lift GSP privileges and warns US companies against doing business in the kingdom .
>For years, US officials have accused Phnom Penh of secretly agreeing to allow Chinese troops access to the strategically situated base. Chinese access to the Ream Naval Base could shift security dynamics in the South China Sea, giving Chinese vessels a new southern flank in the hotly contested waterway.
>And lest we forget: Back fifty years ago: Cambodia was bombed with over 500,000 tons of ordnance until August 1973. About 600,000 deaths followed, mostly civilians, helping Khmer Rouge elements gain power in 1975.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 3:11 utc | 57

"In the aggregate, the United States’ military posture is rated 'marginal.' The 2022 Index concludes that the current U.S. military force is likely capable of meeting the demands of a single major regional conflict."

karlof1 | May 13 2022 22:50 utc | 36
____

Yup, so then a primitive backwater like Afghanistan oughtta be a cake-walk. Russia and China? Well, slightly less certain.

So it's lies, threats, bluffs, and bluster. Our Neocons masters are criminally insane, terminally stupid, and extremely dangerous.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 14 2022 4:09 utc | 58

Did’t the USMC seize an island in the region in a staged coup from protection of The Crown because it wanted Pearl Harbour as a port and sanctions on sugar had not been successful in gaining Hawaii and dispossessing the locals ?

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 14 2022 4:19 utc | 59

It looks like the Trump trade war with China will continue with all subsequent administrations. Come the revolution.....

Have the geniuses at the Pentagon and Russell Hill, Canberra, noticed that China and Chinese interests are among the top 20 shareholders of many critical mineral ASX miners the Pentagon proposes to finance , like Lynas? [Lynas rare earth are used in the F35]

Or in true neo-liberal/robber baron behaviour on display of late, will they simply seize the Chinese holdings?

"Boost for ASX critical metals players as US Defense Department seeks to fund mining and processing in Australia"....

https://smallcaps.com.au/asx-critical-metals-players-us-defense-department-fund-mining-processing-australia/

It looks like neoliberalism carries the seed of its own destruction.

Posted by: Paul | May 14 2022 4:30 utc | 60

...country of 60 million people...

Posted by: tim rourke | May 14 2022 0:50 utc | 43

The population of Philippines is 112 million.

The current population of the Philippines is 112,289,298 as of Friday, May 13, 2022

https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/philippines-population/

Posted by: Browser | May 14 2022 4:35 utc | 61

While it is true that the west has stolen $300 billion from Russia, we should also remember that Russia owes the west $470 billion in bonds. So there is no reason for anyone to panic!!

Posted by: First of India | May 14 2022 4:46 utc | 62

Posted by: Organic | May 14 2022 1:41 utc | 50

Agreed mate. And not much is going to change under Albo. To (mis)quote Brando (not Brandon hehe) "We coulda been a contender". Instead we chose to be the 53rd state without the representation.

Posted by: Patroklos | May 14 2022 5:03 utc | 63

@ Don Bacon | 18

Misschief reef/island is over 1000 km from the big Chinese island of Hainan, while being 375 km from Philipines Palawan, 502 km from Vietnam and 477 km from Indonesia.
With your shipping logic the PRC should also take Singapore, while the US should take Cuba as it is only 220 km from Florida and dominating entrance to the Gulf of Mexico.

Ukraine is totally different: it has land borders as close as 457 km from Moskow. Similar for Kashmir, 575 km from New Delhi.

Posted by: Antonym | May 14 2022 5:10 utc | 64

Posted by:James @ 46

Thanks for posting 'The New Atlas'. I had digital trouble with the YouTube version, here it is on Odysee.com to bring some reality to the bar:

https://odysee.com/@LandDestroyer:8/us-can't-find-indo-pacific-nations-to:3

Cheers.

Posted by: Paul | May 14 2022 5:42 utc | 65

An ASEAN proxy to poke China?

I'm offended!

This is an insult to all Australians.

That's what we are supposed to have joined AUKUS for! We've been a puppet since WW2. Surely we have priority in putting our necks on the line for US business.

Posted by: RoHa | May 14 2022 5:49 utc | 66

@ RoHa | May 14 2022 5:49 utc | 64 with the snark about AU not measuring up to being the proxy empire wants

While you may be the 6th largest country by land mass your population is about 2/3 of the state of California and besides, you are too far away to be the proxy threat they want.....consider yourself lucky.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 14 2022 6:37 utc | 67

The USA could not scramble 40 billion dollars in all haste for Philippines? Only puny max 60 million?

Posted by: Zombie USA | May 14 2022 7:21 utc | 68

China's 9Dash line is the most indefensible load of bs ever.

Literally nowhere near China and covering every one of its neighbours waters.

Posted by: Et Tu | May 14 2022 9:22 utc | 69

Wanted - Asian Finland

Must be willing to have 20 nuclear warheads pointed at self.

Excellent remuneration package (incl. Freedom of the City of New York when we leave/you run )

Only self-harmers need apply.

Posted by: WTFUD | May 14 2022 11:01 utc | 70

It's all a show, Marcos is going to sell the Phillipines out like his father did. That's my bet anyway.

Posted by: Befree | May 14 2022 11:32 utc | 71

a bit of confusion down under. . .

SYDNEY May 13, 2022: Eight days before a heavily-contested federal election, Defense Minister Peter Dutton today revealed that a Chinese intelligence ship had entered Australia’s exclusive economic zone and was “hugging the coastline” near highly classified facilities, in what he called “an aggressive act.”

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Nov 26, 2021 – Chinese naval ships have every right to operate in Australia’s exclusive economic zone, just as Australia and other countries have the right to freedom of movement in the South China Sea, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 13:22 utc | 72

Sri Lankan default and debt problems in Pakistan are sort of a black mark on China's ambitions. At least one new site (an Indian based gravitas) questioning why China didn't bail out these countries. Sri Lankan problem is mainly corruption.

Posted by: Calgary Guy | May 14 2022 13:52 utc | 73

Some countries need regime change more than others. The newspapers inform me that there is scarcity of various products - from baby formula to diesel - in the US. On the other hand, US congress votes $40,000,000,000 in mainly military aid to Ukraine.

Posted by: Passerby | May 14 2022 13:56 utc | 74

@Calgary Guy 71
Sri Lankan default and debt problems in Pakistan are sort of a black mark on China's ambitions.

. . .nope . . .
from chinahand on Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka faces a massive debt repayment burden of almost $4 billion dollars in the coming year; but the Hambantota port and airport account for less than $200 million of that.
That’s just 5% of the total...Sri Lanka’s big debt repayment headache is not the Chinese. It’s that the Sri Lankan government sold somewhere between one to two billion dollars of sovereign debt almost every year at near junk interest rates for rebuilding and social peace

On Pakistan, there have been terrorist attacks on Chinese workers, that's not a "black mark" on China. The CIA has long been stirring up trouble in Balochistan against Iran and now Pakistan. China has been successful world-wide with its BRI. According to China’s Ministry of Transport, 2019, a total of 52 ports in 34 countries are managed or were constructed by Chinese companies, for one example. .Also China has signed memorandum of understanding agreements with more than a dozen Latin American and Caribbean countries for Belt and Road participation. China is present at both ends of the Panama Canal.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 14:23 utc | 75

Indian Punchline has a good article on Biden's failure in Asia. . ."Indo-Pacific strategy adrift in an illusion" . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 14 2022 14:36 utc | 76

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 13 2022 21:43 utc | 33

Either abide by the LAWs or don't. Those who are targets are generally said to be in some violation of one law or another. Violating LAW to administer "law" is why this world is so f'd up. We're all a bunch of BS-ers.

Posted by: Seer | May 14 2022 14:50 utc | 77

Don Bacon | May 14 2022 14:23 utc | 73

Thanks Don for looking beyond just superficial buzzwords. I am getting tired of hearing Hambantota port as the example of Chinese debt trap forgetting that Canadian wanted to do that first. Gravitas doesn't like China ha ha.

Posted by: Calgary Guy | May 14 2022 14:59 utc | 78

The problem the USA has is they really have nothing to offer any countries in SE Asia. The USA can only get its way through bribes and threats because the American economy is entirely based on parasitism and looting the global south.

Posted by: Barto | May 14 2022 15:22 utc | 79

"Democracy" to these people means a society under the spell of US media oligarchs and western NGOs telling them how to think and who to vote for.

Posted by: Sebastian Hawks | May 14 2022 15:41 utc | 80

It's all a show, Marcos is going to sell the Phillipines out like his father did. That's my bet anyway.

Posted by: Befree | May 14 2022 11:32 utc | 69

Marcos is definitely a member of the local elite, but (a) elite extracts rents most reliably from their own countries, not by selling the country out -- if possible, if not they do it. (b) These days, USA survives by printing money, and is remarkably stingy, China delivers goods, pays and invest. (c) If USA can single out a disobedient country to ruin it, it does it (e.g. Venezuela), but if the entire region behaves similarly, that does not work.

My favorite parable is a tale of two nuclear power stations.

Georgia Power Co. now says the first of two nuclear reactors it’s building at Plant Vogtle near Augusta might not begin generating electricity until as late as March 2023 and the reactors will cost their owners nearly $30 billion.When approved in 2012, the third and fourth reactors were estimated to cost $14 billion, with the first electricity being generated in 2016. Thursday’s report pushed back the start date for the third reactor by as much as six months to March 2023, from the previous deadline of Sept. 30. Southern says the fourth reactor at Vogtle will reach commercial operation in late 2023, also delayed up to six months.

Vogtle is now projected to cost at least $29.8 billion, with Georgia Power projected to pay $13.8 billion for the 45.7% it owns. Oglethorpe Power Corp., which serves most Georgia electric cooperatives, is projected to pay at least $8.25 billion. The Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, which serves municipal utilities, is projected to pay at least $7.5 billion. The city of Dalton’s utility owes at least $240 million.

------

A similar, wee bit larger, plant is being completed in Bangladesh on schedule, for 12.5 billion, with good financing terms and extras like taking care for radioactive waste, as long as the fuel is provided by the vendor. Is it better to order from Rosatom or from Westinghouse?

Poland and Czechia decided to go for Westinghouse, but Slovakia, Hungary, Bangladesh, Egypt etc. prefer contracts with Rosatom. Being autocratically inclined, they do not want to fork extra 17 billions for the sake of freedom.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 14 2022 16:25 utc | 81

Compare 150 million to the recently passed Ukraine package of 40 BILLION

Stingy INDEED

The US is learning the hard way, that poking at either the bear or the tiger will get them harshly BIT

Posted by: Kay | May 14 2022 22:35 utc | 82

It is still my opinion that the US Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex intends to take over the world by a: weakening South America-done, b: setting the Middle East on fire-done, c: weakening Europe-in work, d: weakening Russia-in work, e: start an Asian war-in work, while selling arms and lending money to all (which will also prop up the Dollar and the US economy).

And when they control the world the US Space Force will take over space and the moon. Go ahead, laugh. That's in work too.

Posted by: ACPAL | May 16 2022 0:51 utc | 83

Thank you, Don, for seeing beyond the surface level jargon. I'm sick of hearing Hambantota port used as an example of Chinese debt trap, forgetting that Canada wanted to develop it first. Gravitas dislikes China, ha ha five nights at freddy's.

Posted by: Douglas Chelsea | May 19 2022 9:00 utc | 84

Finally got through the comments here - I do believe it is one of the most impressive I’ve ever read , good stuff y’all and thanks for a great bar mr b. Many thoughts are raised , I’ll try and make them bite size.
————-

Is Ritter pissed ? in both definitions? It’s almost as if he is disappointed that the SMO is going the way it is - no major escalation to a declaration of war by the West! Except some dumbsdums in the legislature and Eurowonkers who have always been wormtongues.

Time to beam back to reality scotty.

Russia has no need to invade parts of Europe it has no need for or interest in or any ethnic Russians to protect. Why get involved in places where the natives despise you? Not being European or Anglo Imperialists, Why? When there is zero threat of garnering enough boots that will try to take Moscow again. With mercenaries and the ‘old guards’.

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 19 2022 10:32 utc | 85

C20th Weapons are generally useless now - jet fighters? Ha not when the antiaircraft missiles are so much more advanced. Drones , ditto. Aircraft carrier groups? Ha ha ha.
Nukes? When did MAD suddenly stop?
That leaves the B & C of that trio.
Chemicals are mostly pointless when we live such toxic environments, lol.
Biological - ah - that seems like the last throw of the murderous dice. If true it must mean the destruction of these who brought such mundane evil to the billions.

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 19 2022 10:34 utc | 86

Anyway...

War between nations didn’t exist for millennia - war between peoples and princes and kings did - usually financed by gold or silver borrowed to pay the praetorian mercenaries throughout history.

The only winners were these Money owners and lenders who got not only their initial back but a lot lot more - they got to run these Kings & Princes from behind the curtain.

That was not enough because even princes and monarchs were unreliable , even they refused to bow down to the Almighty who was represented by the high priests of the Vatican, where the Money was controlled from. The fanatic fascists of the day, the stormtroopers if you will, being the Jesuits, who just like Nazis do , took children at six and made the men, to go forth and conquer - what? These monarchies and ever smaller principalities?

Not worth it - so the NATION STATE was invented , The Treaty of Westphalia.
That did allow a plunder of actual wealth created by peasants and craftsmen and an ability to conglomerate the principalities and set blood monarchs against each other’s nations!

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 19 2022 10:35 utc | 87

After that mercenary Napoleon failed, he realised what he was managed by and rebelled, so the next cab off the rank was recruited with more mercenaries to depose him - Wellesley a sixth son of Irish gentry (Norman mercenaries) who was trained through the EIC. And so it went on.

The Czar was set up by his ‘owned’ English and European cousins, all relate to the German monarchy !

Alongside the Jesuits and Nation states there was a need of another supranational body - not religious, not royalty, just directly controlled by the Money.

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 19 2022 10:40 utc | 88

So we got the Corporate Entity.

Dutch and English East India Companies (EIC).

The mix was distilled further by the setting up of a monarch free America by ‘revolution’ financed by whom? The Usual Suspects.

A new pseudo scientific religion was developed that would replicate the Heaven and Hell fantasy of the biblical fairy tales of control. ECONOMICS.

With its Good Capitalism and Bad Anti-Capitalism.

Weapons of which they have had unleashed upon us again to make us poorer and more pliant.

Inflation didn’t arise as per their fantasy theory - it has been monopolistically been deigned into being ; and will be fought with the fantasy of Interest rate rises - and voila that will feedback as more inflation!

Austerity is an effective whip.

Such are the tricks played for centuries. The creation of a fake left and right. The idiocy of the Americans who actually believe that such a fake exists in their own peoples! These fully transported Europeans artificially to create a pool that would go back to their original lands as saviours! Nah just another proxy mercenary army from a artificial nation with a corporatist religion and weapons that would be mighty if not righty.

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 19 2022 10:43 utc | 89

The Money doesn’t care for Nations or Monarchs or Peoples or Nature - never has. The Money is like some Alien species that landed on the Earth and has been busy ever since to create the atmosphere of their own toxic planet! Did they come from a place full of plastics in the air and water? Where they breath CO2?

The Money has alway believed they own everything and everyone and the rest of us should be grateful that we are their slaves to do with as they please and can be culled every time we start to raise our heads and look at them.

Of course they don’t give a damn about nations or peoples but they do like their jewel cities; they have their ancient foes and infallible cultures who have resisted throughout history and do so today collectively as the maturing multipolar SCO and EAEU.

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 19 2022 10:44 utc | 90

And finally (sorry)

The Germans need to tell the Yankees to go Home to which the Yankees Owners say but we are! We came back to take what is ours! You are just Slavic slaves and will yield as always!

I keep with the message that I have learnt over the last decade of self study enabled by personal financial freedom - learning that I had absolutely no idea about, the truth of Money, Economics and History as mistaught in our textbooks and marshalled by the slave masters working for these ancient owners.

This time , oh Lord, this time we can finally break free of the chains forever. It starts by fucking them up in the one real soft spot they have - their Money.

And in their castles and bunkers far far from the chaos they create. Because Mr fuckinzhell has their address and can send them a message in minutes.

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 19 2022 10:47 utc | 91

You have published a very good article, I keep looking for such good contact, I agree with your information and important facts, and keep working with the publication of such good information.
Mumbai |

Posted by: Ayushi Basu | May 21 2022 6:26 utc | 92

The comments to this entry are closed.